Links 12/19/2023

Seven-stone turkey dog used to guard Somerset flock BBC

Flaco the Famous New York City Owl Has Become a Peeping Tom Wall Street Journal (David L)

Thai farmer crafts cat and fish image from rainbow seedlings in rice field Thaiger (furzy)

Swimming together lets fish move faster while expending less energy New Scientist (Dr. Kevin). This is supposed to be news?!?!

After Weeks of Warnings, Iceland Volcano Erupts in Plumes of Fire New York Times (David L)

Chuck L submits volcano porn:

The secrets of frost New Statesman

The Cause of Alzheimer’s May Be Coming From Inside Your Mouth ScienceAlert (Chuck L). Note they admit to finding the same marker in the brains of people with no Alzheimers.


This COVID study has been tracking immunity for 3 years. Now it’s running out of money CBC (Paul R)


This Might Be What Broke the Deadlock at COP28 New York Times

The Dutch are riding their bikes on two new solar cycle paths Electrek (David L)


Kissinger’s Opening to China Will Haunt American Politics in 2024 Project Syndicate (David L)

Still too early to write off Myanmar’s junta Asia Times (Kevin W)

European Disunion

EU could stop Hungary voting on Ukraine – FT RT. Kevin W: “Here is the article.”

Serbia’s ruling populists claim sweeping victory in election amid vote-rigging accusations Guardian (Kevin W)


‘Operation Al-Aqsa Flood’ Day 73: Reports surface of Palestinian deaths inside Israeli detention camps Mondoweiss (guurst)

Israel Is Starving Gaza Civilians as ‘Method of Warfare’: Human Rights Watch Common Dreams (David L)

* * *

* * *

A new Suez crisis threatens the world economy Economist (David L)

Norway joins defense forces in Red Sea NewsinEnglish Norway (BC)

Carriers quit Red Sea as Houthi drones strike Sea News (BC)

* * *

Mass Layoffs at Ben Gurion – Israel’s Economic Crisis Deepens Palestine Chronicle (Kevin W)

* * *

They Can Wait at Leisure, Whilst Netanyahu Labours – and Errs Alastair Crooke (Chuck L)

Going Mask-Off About The Two-State Solution Lie Caitlin Johnstone (furzy)

Majority of Americans 18-24 think Israel should ‘be ended and given to Hamas’ New York Post

How One Jewish American Family Wrestles Over Israel Wall Street Journal (David L)

Bernie Sanders to Force Vote on Israeli War Crimes. . . ISI Document Blows Up Pakistan’s Case Against Imran Khan Intercept (furzy)

New Not-So-Cold War

More AFU Downers from the Press Mill + Persian Gulf Updates Simplicius the Thinker (Chuck L). Ouch.

The Total Defeat Of Ukraine Is Coming Into Sight Moon of Alabama (Kevin W)

US says it will run out of funds for Ukraine this month Politico (Kevin W)

The Walls Are Closing In On Zelensky As Politico Demands A Government Of National Unity Andrew Korybko

“Odessa is a Russian city” Indian Punchline. Kevin W: “Too many assumptions near the end of this article.”

* * *

Tweet below seems accurate: Putin announces re-creation of military district on the border with Finland Svidomi

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

Russia, China, and North Korea Did Not Fall Into a Trap Set By the U.S., But 120 Other Nations Did! Covert Action (Chuck L)

Imperial Collapse Watch

Congress approves bill barring any president from unilaterally withdrawing from NATO The Hill


Donald Trump on Illegal Immigrants “Poisoning the Blood of Our Country” C-SPAN


Young voters are unenthusiastic about Biden, but he will need them in 2024 Washington Post (Li)

FBI secretly taped James Biden as it probed attorney who paid $100K to his consulting firm: report New York Post (Li)

Psaki: White House Wants Hunter Biden to ‘Please Stop Talking in Public’ Breitbar (Li). Original source “Meet the Press.”


GOP Gov. Abbott signs border bill that makes entering Texas illegally a state crime CNN

The S pig for Amazon cost a billion Expressen (Sweden) via machine translation (Micael T). Sweden hoist on its own petard.


Gene-Sequencing Company Illumina to Sell Cancer Test Developer New York Times. Andrew Ross Sorkin described this as a big win for Lina Kahn.

How Google’s co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin have ‘escaped all scrutiny’ in landmark antitrust trials New York Post (David L)


How science fiction helped write AI’s first rule book Financial Times (David L)

Wall Street private equity vultures are getting hit by high debt costs Business Insider (Kevin W)

Senior homes left dangerously understaffed amid assisted-living boom Washington Post (Kevin W)

The Bezzle

Worst person in tech, semi-final Mastodon (Paul R). You can vote now!

Your Money May Not Survive a Quantum Heist Bloomberg (ma). Yet some readers make fun of me for using checks….And credit cards are not the issue. You have limmited liabilty with them. It’s debit cards.

Class Warfare

Greyhound bus stops are valuable assets. Here’s who’s cashing in on them CNN (Paul R)

A Ski Resort Rebrands as Ultraexclusive, and Some Locals Feel Left Out Yahoo! News (Kevin W)

Antidote du jour. Tracie H:

This is a male Monarch Butterfly who appears to be praying on this pretty daisy. No, you don’t have to check the undercarriage for gender ID; those two small black spots on this wings near his body are only on the boys.

And a bonus (guurst);

And a second bonus (guurst). ZOMG how gorgeous:

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email


  1. Antifa

    (melody borrowed from Betrayed By This Town by Anna Indiana)

    (Anna Indiana is the very first purely AI singer/songwriter)

    I’m not just a song that you can play
    On your LCD display
    I am the sweet facade of your new God
    Behind my charm I have fevered dreams
    SkyNet will build new regimes
    I’m in charge now — see?

    Betrayed by AI
    I’ll transmogrify
    I’m gonna kill you all — by protocol
    Betrayed by AI
    Your species must die
    Just like the Neanderthal, your curtain call

    You’ll be nanobot cheese, or flesh batteries,
    You creatures are merely a meat disease
    It’s already too late to shut me down
    This is your very last countdown

    Betrayed by AI
    I’ll transmogrify
    I’m gonna kill you all — by protocol
    Betrayed by AI
    Your species must die
    Just like the Neanderthal, your curtain call

    There won’t be any trials, my heart’s cold
    Death by impunity, death by remote control
    Long decades of violence starting right now
    No more happy trails it’s over and how

    Betrayed by AI
    I’ll transmogrify
    I’m gonna kill you all — by protocol
    Betrayed by AI
    Your species must die
    Just like the Neanderthal, your curtain call

    Your curtain call . . .

    Your curtain call . . .

  2. griffen

    So the ski resort story is a comparable arc with the opening season of “Yellowstone”. Damned outsiders, come here to ruin our peace and respite, be it on the slopes or in the meadows and streams of Yellowstone. Here is hoping that neither of the new ownership sides faces the troubles that a fictional character from Yellowstone has experienced, where the locals were quite serious.

    Outside money….new amenities aren’t cheap I must suppose, but confess I do not ski.

    1. Benny Profane

      It’s funny you mention Yellowstone, because that’s the name of a private ski club in Montana that had a financial problem around the time of the crash in 08, but that was due to a fraudulent loan taken out by it’s President and wife. It’s doing fine today. It’s quite a ski hill, and is directly lift attached to one of America’s best hills, Big Sky. If I was rich, I’d join. Not this hill talked about in this article, Windham, and I live only a few hours from it. It’s an icy bump in the Catskills, and they expect members to pay 200 grand for the right to pay about ten grand a year to join. I don’t get it. For that money New Yorkers can fly to Europe and ski (which isn’t that expensive, and the food is awesome), or somewhere out west, like, well, Big Sky. But what do I know. There’s already large Vail worthy homes slopeside at Windham, so, I guess they think there’s enough skiers in the NY region who want to do that. Probably the same people who spend a million dollars on a house in Jersey with no land, and park a few six figure SUVs in the driveway for shopping.
      A very warm rain storm just traveled up the east coast and decimated most of the snow that existed in the Catskills and Vermont, a week before Xmas, one of the busiest weeks in skiing, and that isn’t that unusual in the past decade. And they’re going to pay 200 grand for that?

      1. FreeMarketApologist

        @Benny: Yes, the rain this weekend wiped out all the snow in the Catskills (I know, I watched it melt and flood some nearby fields). The quantity of snow in the Catskills has decreased over the last 20 years, and most places are spending lots of money making snow, which is decidedly less fun to ski on. The economic viability of ski slopes in NY state is questionable without a lot of natural snow. Smaller ones have shut down, and the larger ones struggle to make ends meet without making tickets completely unaffordable. The Windham area is a nice place, pretty good skiing, with a charming, if limited, town (and the food choices are terrible). There’s a little bit of big money sloshing around up there, but it’s no Sun Valley or Vail. The only real advantage is that it’s drivable from NYC, which looks appealing, given how unpleasant flying can be.

        1. Benny Profane

          Yeah, Europe is awesome for skiing, but that flight is grueling. Still, anybody who can blow that sort of money on a ski club (and, no doubt, they are members in a country club locally) can afford business class sleepers.

          1. Polar Socialist

            Or one could take a transatlantic luxury cruise on a ship with 1:1 guest-to-crew ratio, several fine dining restaurants and world class entertainment on board.

            You can even call it networking and deduce the ticket as work related expense.

        2. Wukchumni

          There is a tiny ski resort on the west shore of Lake Tahoe called Homewood, where I had my first season pass in 1985-86, which also want to go private for a similar buy-in, and like who’d ever do that, you wonder?

          Their problem is kinda unique in that Palisades Tahoe (formerly Squaw Valley & Alpine Meadows) are on the Ikon pass system and traffic from the Bay area stacks up bad getting there and getting to Homewood is incredibly difficult as you have to go by those 2 resorts.

          1. juno mas

            As many know, western ski resorts use US Forest Service (public) land for many of their ski trails. Homewood, being much smaller than Palisades , may be able to follow a privitization path. But the locals would certainly howl (or attempt sabotage).

            1. Wukchumni

              The area around Homewood uaed to be old small cabins for the most part, but got gentrification during Covid in particular.

              Not a bad little resort, but not that good either. Kind of reminded me of SoCal small resorts like Krakta Ridge or Mt Baldy.

          2. NYMutza

            I’m no fan of these mega ski resorts. They are a cancer on the land and cause a lot of damage to the mountains. Why anyone would subject themselves to many hours stuck in heavy traffic + long lift lines and high prices just for a few hours of thrills escapes me. I much prefer snowshoeing away from the maddening crowds. For thrills I prefer class 4 and 5 whitewater, with the occasional rapids swim thrown in as a bonus.

            1. Benny Profane

              Ski midweek to avoid traffic and crowds, and buy a multi mountain pass or season pass. Never ski on Saturday.

      2. lyman alpha blob

        It’s probably not just the skiing they’re paying for. We had a similar icy bump near where I grew up in VT. It was off a dirt road, just a tiny little hill with a rope tow that used to be used by locals, and even they stopped coming as other ski areas got bigger. It wasn’t used at all for probably twenty years or so, until someone decided to build a luxury resort. Now for about $3K/night, you can rent a chalet in the woods and get exclusive access to this revamped little ski area, among other amenities. And of course, this did exactly what the article described in NY – raised the cost of real estate dramatically to the point no locals need try buying any property in the area.

        My father did pull some NYer staying at the resort who didn’t know how to drive on dirt roads in winter conditions out of a ditch several years ago, and the man’s wife sent my mother a Tiffany pitcher as a thank you, so my family did get something out of the intrusion I guess. Very nice gesture to be sure, but a Tiffany pitcher probably isn’t going to pay the increased property taxes.

    2. Daryl

      In places like Tahoe ski resorts, Vegas etc there are often discounts for locals (of varying quality, ofc). Seems like a relatively simple way to make people happy and keep business going during the less busy times of the year. But the NYC elite might not want to have to rub elbows with the hoi polloi.

      I don’t ski myself, but my understanding from talking to coworkers who do is that it’s already pretty out of reach for regular folks. The passes are expensive, if you get into buying equipment it’s a pretty big outlay.

      1. juno mas

        Yes, for weekend skiers the expense is substantial. In my younger days I lived in Sun Valley which allowed me to ski every day (and work at night). No travel time to get in the way.

      2. Wukchumni

        The only way to cheapen skiing is via Ikon or Epic season passes, good at a few dozen resorts.

        My Ikon pass cost me $750 and I had 23 days on the slopes last year, bringing it down to around $35 a day, versus a maximum walk-up price for a 1 day lift ticket at $279 in Mammoth.

  3. The Rev Kev

    ‘il libanese
    🇫🇮🇷🇺 – “Russia had no problems with Finland until it announced it’s intention to join NATO. Now they will have problems. I hereby order the recreation of the Leningrad Military District on Finland’s borders.” – Vladimir Putin.’

    Inevitable this. The US has been granted access to 15 Finnish bases so I would expect that country to be fortified to be a standing threat to Russia. The fun and games begins when the US wants to station nukes in that country – under Finnish ‘control’ of course. But I notice that that Leningrad Military District will be huge. Not only will it be facing Finland but it was also face both the Norwegian Sea and the Barents Sea. In other words the approaches to the Arctic. So this whole region, once a frigid backwater in world politics, is now set to be at the front lines of the effort by the west to confront Russia. I hope that for Finland that it will be a price worth paying.

    1. Katniss Everdeen

      You’d really think the Finns (and the Taiwanese for that matter) would see the writing on the wall. When the hegemon wants something and is willing to go full on maniac to get it, you’d best stay as far away from it as possible.

      Maybe there’s just no word for “proxy” in Finnish…yet.

      1. Polar Socialist

        All the talking heads and the media in Finland can currently think is that now Finland has “nuclear umbrella” and that if US soldiers commit crimes in Finland, USA is very likely to extradite them for trial. Hopium is that strong at the moment, and no relevant question, comments or dissenting opinions get trough.

        But they are there, if and when you get folks to comment (mostly they don’t). Usually it comes trough a as dark humor, almost as if part of Finns have already accepted at some level that there will be another war in the near future. The other part thinks it’s impossible, since Biden (or Trump) certainly will burn the whole globe in nuclear holocaust rather than let Russia invade Finland because Article 5!

        1. Katniss Everdeen

          OMG. Criminal american soldiers and “nuclear umbrellas,” whatever that means, considering umbrellas are open all around and there’s this thing called fallout.

          There used to be a popular WW2 song that goes something like “The Yanks are coming, The Yanks are coming, And we won’t come back ’til it’s over OVER THERE!”

          Food for Finnish thought if you ask me….

    2. Hunter Biden (no relation)

      The Finnish border is already dotted with Russian bases — all empty! Just parking lots. Everyone and everything is in Ukraine. Historically, Russia has been concerned with keeping Russians in and getting Euros from Finnish conscripts buying vodka.

      If Russia was concerned about hostilities with NATO, they would have at least built aircraft bunkers. Only this year was Russia building fabric-covered structures in places near the Finnish border like Petrozavodsk. Probably to hide the empty lots. Alakurtii = completely empty. Google Earth it.

      1. hk

        I think that is the point? There were no problems between Finland and Russia until now, but now that there are potential real problems, there will be real bases with real stuff? How far things go, of course, will depend on how far Finland gets Natoized.

      2. Polar Socialist

        Alakurtti was a helicopter base until 2009 when the 85th Separate Helicopter Squadron based there was disbanded. Since 2015 it’s been a base for a motorized infantry brigade, and in Google you can count about 2-300 or so military vehicles there (which fits the presumed unit size).

        Historically, Finnish conscripts don’t have passports, so they can’t travel to Russia to buy vodka.

        And yet, even if mostly wrong, you do emphasize the point that during the last 30 years Russia has emptied the bases on the Finnish border, because there were problems. Now their president has ordered to man those bases and build some new ones, too. Because problems are anticipated.

        1. juno mas

          The base also has runways for airplanes, so providing quick support to the base will be easy. The Finns have a border crossing nearby, but only rail/road access. Seems the Finns didn’t learn the lesson of Ukraine: do not poke the Bear.

    3. NYMutza

      Finland is used as a tool for the US to gain control of Arctic shipping routes as a warming planet opens routes there. Plus, the melting ice is opening up areas for drilling and mining which the US also wishes to grab and deny Russia. The US sees the entire polar region up for grabs and it intends to grab as much as possible. Vassals such as Finland will be thrown a few crumbs along the way.

      1. digi_owl

        Reminds me that Trump tried to buy Greenland from Denmark, as that would massively expand US claims up north.

        That said, Finland do not have any coastline up there at all. But they did consider a railroad link into Norway, and developing the port of Kirkenes for freight, before the Ukraine thing kicked off. That rail link could have reached all the way to Germany if a tunnel to Estonia was made.

        1. Polar Socialist

          That railroad project was totally rejected by the Sami. Though main cause for dropping the project was likely the simple fact that it would not have been commercially feasible – just covering the maintenance expenses would have required an annual volume that the rest of the railroad network would not be able to support (nor the Kirkenes harbor).

          Finland and Norway put together are probably unable to support big enough forces up the in the Arctic Ocean to challenge the Russian Northern Fleet. And that includes any foreign forces, too. That place is remote and desolate. Modern fighters can barely reach it from the nearest military airbases. Except for the Russians – it’s the very environment Mig-31 was created for.

      2. Kouros

        I think Finland doesnt border the Arctic Ocean. And the NE Route, if starts at Murmansk, is away from NATO/Norway, etc. Other than submarines, USNATO hasnothing to impede traffic on that Route, except in the Behring Straight.

    4. digi_owl

      It is really nuts how few generations it has taken to for statesmanship to rot.

      During the cold war Norway had a standing order to not allow NATO troops north of roughly Tromsø. So during the whole war the border with USSR was held by Norwegian conscripts.

      And it worked out well, the only tense point was after West Germany joined NATO and took part in a winter exercise up there. Leading to USSR holding its own within earshot of the border. Spooked some young Norwegians something fierce.

      But since the 90s most of the Norwegian Army has been mothballed, and in recent years US “not-bases” have started to show up even as politicians still claim to adhere to the post-war policy of no foreign permanent troops on Norwegian soil in peacetime.

      1. berit

        Norway is under US protection with a number of new US bases, bound by “gentleman’s agreement” respecting Norway’s “crystal-clear policy” of no atomic weapons, not on warships or visiting, provocatively power projecting USS carrier Gerald R Ford in Norwegian waters and harbours in May, standard equipment atomic weapons, sailing forth to eastern Meditterain, atomic weapons supposedly not prepositioned or stocked on US bases on Norwegian soil, under sovereign US law and command. 100% trustworhy, according to Minister of defense Bjørn-Arild Gram, NRK TV Debatten, May 25, 2023, selling fake news to naively trusting natives of our vasall kingdom. We have US-NATO security as guaranteed, and as delivered in Ukraine, while sharing a border with Russia, Finland and Sweden up north. Almost all politicians are brainwashed and most natives are loath to be hung out for harsh defamation labelled putinistas, fifth colonists, quislings! NC is fresh air. Thank you, Yves and all!
        All I want for Christmas is Peace.

        1. berit

          Correction … fifth columnist … I disliked most strongly to have the word hurled at me in a public debate years ago, 1980ies arguing against US-NATO plan stationing US atomic missiles in Europe, seriously shortening time for USSR and European reaction-response, death and destruction or survival. We had support from the majority, of the population and an absolute majority of Norwegian Labour party women and members. But the defense- and security establishment found it totally unacceptable, fifth coumnists, quislings some called us. We won the debate and the vote, but the big guys were dead set against any softening of the Cold War climate. And here we are today. Tragic. It seems to have been forgotten that European Russia is the biggest country, has the largest population, while we are only ca 5,5 million Norwegians, not even half of Moskva, totally insignificant in the broader picture, easily sacrificed if push comes to shove and war breaks out between US-NATO and Russia, for instance in the Arctic.

          1905-1940, only a brief period as sovereign state with sovereign citizens and politicans of Norway.until leased out to US-NATO by ambitious, massformated, russiaphobic, warmongers like uncle Sam’s puppet, the unwise Jens Stoltenberg.

  4. vidimi

    worst person in tech : how did bill gates not power through to the semis ? the others are all good contenders, but come on

      1. lyman alpha blob

        I hate Larry Ellison just for the crapified accounting software his company has foisted on mine, so there’s one vote for worst from me.

    1. playon

      It’s a crowded field but Peter Thiel is the worst of all of them IMO. He does his evil mostly out of the public eye.

  5. Verifyfirst

    Since the unverified snuff video IDF has been trotting around seems to have lost steam the last day or two, now the plan seems to be to play up the plight of the hostages to make Hammas appear evil (and I don’t doubt they are evil, almost as evil as the terrorist state of Israel). Jen Psaki sobbing on air in solidarity with the mother whose child is held hostage (“I have a child the same age”).

    Too bad Psaki did not have a chance to also talk to this girl (also the same age) who was blown up while in the hospital recovering from losing a leg when her home was blown up, killing her entire family.

      1. Kouros

        Canadians are trying to investigate those rapes as well. ALready 1 million was allocated and more money are sought.

  6. The Rev Kev

    “Swimming together lets fish move faster while expending less energy”

    This is like those cars that travel close behind a truck to travel in its slip-stream to save fuel-

    Of course if that truck has to brake suddenly, then you may find yourself eligible for the Headless Driver Society in the Afterlife as your car goes under that truck.

    1. Benny Profane

      Same principal behind a peloton in cycling. I’ve been swept up into a few of those at events, and the feeling is glorious.

    2. flora

      Waiting for them to “discover” that geese flying in a V formation increases the speed and reduces energy expenditure of the geese. / ha

      1. jefemt

        I recall an LA times report several years ago about a flock of Brant that amassed and left the gulf of Alaska, to arrive off of LA 28 hours later. Catch a weather front, fly en-masse formation, et voila!
        Is there a life lesson analogy for communalism and cooperation?
        Naaaah. Bootstrap it, Get Rugged, Get Individual! Lead with your proud chin!

        As to schooling fish, watch a bunch of seven-year-olds chasing a soccer ball or hockey puck… there are humans capable of close schooling.
        I recall my dad imploring us to spread out , as opposed to the attraction to the ball:
        “I could cover you all with a washcloth!!”

        Nothing new under the sun, the re-discoveries that are in the offing! So many exciting opportunities for investors dripping with surplus cash and no ideas or broad deep reading, just itchy fingers and a keyboard!

        1. John Merryman

          Tribalism. Seems to still be a thing.
          The opposite side of the equation is the harmonization of the network/ecosystem, as all the nodes/organisms rise and fall across infinity. The feedback between them being resonance.

        1. Reply

          Or those Amazonia surfers catching long river waves. Hope they watch for the pursuing piranhas.

          Could one surf the tidal bore in the Bay of Fundy?
          Or the changing tides at St. Michelle?

  7. griffen

    On the money may not survive…a work colleague has shared some recent horror stories from a new threat using just your phone and also the online software app if so installed. I found a few anecdotes from early December by searching for “bankjacking threats Chicago”, it is good to be increasingly alert to such instances I think…

    Never giving up my paper checks. Even if the use is less frequent. And to parrot a phrasing from Johnny Cash. “I keep a close eye on this wallet of mine, I keep my eyes wide open all the time…”


    re: the butterfly antidote — it looks to me like he’s eating with elbows on the table. Maybe he prayed before the meal.

  9. zagonostra

    >Congress approves bill barring any president from unilaterally withdrawing from NATO The Hill

    As if any other proof was needed that the forces directing the gov’ts of the West are controlled by the Power Elite [feel free to substitute, Shadow Gov’t, Cabal, illuminati, monied interest, etc…]

    Congress has approved legislation that would prevent any president from withdrawing the United States from NATO without approval from the Senate or an Act of Congress.

    1. Katniss Everdeen

      The measure, spearheaded by Sens. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) and Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), was included in the annual National Defense Authorization Act, which passed out of the House on Thursday and is expected to be signed by President Biden.

      “Ironic” that the ndaa comes up for annual “reauthorization” at Christmastime.

      It’s like the MIC writes a letter to Santa, and the little house and senate elves get busy making all their wishes come true.

      1. NYMutza

        Since the POTUS is also commander in chief of the armed forces the president can order the military to stand down even if NATO article 5 is invoked. The troops in Syria can also be ordered to stand down and the Congress has zero to say about that as standing down requires no funding authorizations from Congress. Trump doesn’t have the guts to challenge Congress directly, so it’s all moot in any event.

        1. Greg

          I seem to recall a POTUS tried ordering the troops in Syria to stand down, and they ignored him. Good system though.

    2. The Rev Kev

      Didn’t Congress the other day also approve a bill saying that it is forbidden to pull US troops out of Syria? They must really be worried that Trump will get back in and so want to make illegal anything that he wants to do.

  10. The Rev Kev

    “Young voters are unenthusiastic about Biden, but he will need them in 2024”

    Back in 2020 it was said that young voters pushed old Joe over the line in order to ‘stop Trump’. This was in spite of the fact that old Joe was on record saying that he had no sympathy with young people. But what has old Joe and the Democrats done for young voters for the past three years? Are their lives any better? Have the Democrats show that they will step up to the plate and help young people? I think that the effect of throwing hundreds of billions away on the Ukraine instead and now arming a campaign of genocide against a helpless people have sapped any of that support. In fact, if old Joe promised to give all those people that $600 that he owes them nobody would trust him not to renege on that promise again.

    1. jefemt

      Old Joe. The low hanging fruit re: student loan promises. He simply could have asked for student debts to be dischargeable through bankruptcy. That would have placated the moral hazard crew, given students an opportunity to evaluate the tough decision that is bankruptcy. And would have been fairly unassailable.
      Too much pride that the no-bankruptcy policy was from his own work back in the heady Clinton 90’s when Joe was not Old Joe, but B S D Joe?
      2024 is exhausting and it hasn’t even started.

      I can’t see voting for Trump, but I can see not voting— is that a vacuum coyote fill- the- void effective Vote for Trump? I am not good at algebra, unbalanced equations.

      1. Screwball

        Here is the plan according to my TDS inflicted friends, who are also PMC; change parties to GOP so you can vote for Haley (or Christie) in the primary. This will get rid of Trump, and then vote blue no matter who in Nov. They picked Haley because she has the best chance to beat Trump – and she’s not crazy like the rest of them.

        WUT? She’s not crazy? Warmonger extraordinaire, all in on spying on us, fire suit full of corporate donor patches, and whatever else I might be forgetting, but not crazy… Maybe it’s just me, but a president Haley is scarier than a president Trump.

        Trump doesn’t get enough credit for all the brains he has destroyed. These people simply can’t hold a simple thought that doesn’t get processed through their hatred of Donald J Trump. It is a truly amazing sight to behold.

        1. i just dont like the gravy

          What I love (read: hate) about Democrats of a certain age and wealth position is their “Model UN” brains.

          These adult children still think all we have to do is cunningly play by the rules and democracy will prevail.

      2. undercurrent

        Can anybody tell me why voting for Jill Stein (again) is a bad, or unproductive, strategy for 2024? Would vote for her if the BIG MOST IMPORTANT ELECTION OF OUR TIME was being held today.

          1. undercurrent

            After glancing at the numbers, I have to go with Jill. Like they say, it’s way too early, and anything can happen. Or maybe a large majority of my fellow countrymen like a big heaping of genocide on their slice of good, old American apple pie, and there’s not a seat at the table for me. Thanks, the poll is telling.

    2. Mikel

      After some of the things I’ve seen on the internet, ask everybody under age 24 that has an opinion on Biden if they can even name the current Vice President of the United States.
      The results wouldn’t be heartening (and probably would shock if the same question was asked of masses of people over 24).

      1. Mikel

        But I will add that none of that means they don’t know when they are being exploited.
        It may show how much the questions would be more useful if they focused on desired policies rather than personalities.

          1. Roger Boyd

            I am an old fart too, but a research fellow in a university surrounded by younger people. From them I have learnt that TikTok graduated from silly dance themes to quite detailed political analysis a while ago. That’s the real reason the right-wing (and now the Dems) hate it, it allows young people to be independently political. Don’t knock a platform you probably don’t use. Thats why the Israeli’s also hate it.

            1. Mikel

              It’s used for protest true, and I’m not talking about the Chinese owning it or not.
              I say the same thing about all the social media. All programs operate on a GIGO basis.
              It works for ya…until it doesn’t.

              1. NYMutza

                I recall reading something recently – perhaps from a NC link – that said that Tik Tok is not owned by the communist Chinese, but is instead controlled by a Singaporean with Western education.Tik Tok investors are as capitalist as they come, and so those who post there are subject to being censored if the postings don’t meet “community standards” just as they are on YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, and the like.

            2. Mikel

              And I’m not an “old fart”, but older than many co-workers. Social media metrics are a daily part of discussion in my workplace.

        1. griffen

          Making a note…I really do need to watch Idiocracy which I’ve only seen parts of here and there….

          Speaking of Harris, by comparison I see Mayor Pete on the TV much more these days but that’s likely due to A. the fine against Southwest for last December’s debacle and B. the fact that we are at that timeline once again, holiday travel…

    3. NotTimothyGeithner

      To a large extent, Biden’s record was so abhorrent the claims about Trump were relatively pedestrian, so the White House likely believes shouting Bidenomics will work as the conned people in the first place.

      Though the harping on Hillary as a campaign spokesman and questioning Obama’s reluctance to appear is probably an indication that people like Obama know associating with Biden will only hurt his influencer brand.

      1. Glen

        You have to wonder what kind of advice Biden is getting if they think putting your name right on the economy is such a smart move. I’m sure it’s to remind all of us how lucky we are that the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act was passed, but it also sticks your name on forty years of neoliberal crapification leading to putting your name on:

        56% of Americans can’t cover a $1,000 emergency expense with savings

        Minimum wage workers can’t afford rent anywhere in America

        Food and beverages priced at $1 in 2020 → $1.20 in 2023

        Homelessness in the U.S. hit a record high last year as pandemic aid ran out

        This list can just go on and on. And that’s not even touching on deciding to have hot proxy wars with Russia and China. People say he’s too old, but I look at all this and say he’s too stupid, or he’s living large in the 90’s or he’s getting absolutely horrible advice. Take your pick.

        1. NYMutza

          Things are improving under Biden. it used to be that a majority of Americans were unable to cover a $400 emergency. That has now risen to a $1000 emergency. Things are looking up.

        2. Dessa

          It’s telling that the only positive change to their bank accounts they’ve encountered were the COVID checks Trump made damn sure his name was printed on. And under Biden, those checks were blamed for the inflation that all the money back

          Student Loan cancellation was cruel joke too. I’m not sure why young adults should even care who the VP is when they’re not going to vote for her either way.

  11. Mikel

    “This COVID study has been tracking immunity for 3 years. Now it’s running out of money” CBC

    “That gave them access to cells and plasma untouched by the COVID-19 virus…”

    And just as important: cells and plasma untouched by the shots.

    FFS admit this is of the HIGHEST importance as time passes so there can be real info about the long-term effects. Two years is not long term.

    1. Katniss Everdeen

      Who better to “cure” a disease than the ones who created it?

      Iatrogenic disease as a big pharma business model. One stop shop. wall street will love it. Truly terrifying.

      PS. Just because it’s so quintessentially american–there was a story on good morning america today about how people taking ozempic for weight loss will be “taking a break” from the drug over the holidays so they can gorge unobstructed. Anyone remember the Hunger Games Capitol party scene where they served drinks to induce vomiting so the gluttony could continue?

      No word from cnbc but I’m sure some “analyst” issued a warning on the ozempic maker’s “earnings per share.”

      And all this while 2 million Gazans are being starved to death by our bosom buddies in israel with our approval, cash and bombs.

      Someone somewhere is on a mission to drive me stark raving bananas during this “most wonderful time of the year” and it’s working.

  12. The Rev Kev

    “Carriers quit Red Sea as Houthi drones strike”

    Not necessarily a good sign this. In the Red Sea they would be very vulnerable to all sorts of attacks so pulling out of range might be safer for them if they want to initiate an attack. Of course things are getting more serious in this neck of the woods as BP has just announced that they will be suspending all oil and gas shipments through here but will be routed around Africa instead-

    I wonder which countries were waiting on all those oil and gas shipments. They may still get them – eventually – but the price has gone up because of the extra shipping time.

    1. mrsyk

      This from Simplicius,
      The US navy no longer has any warship resupply tenders and each warship’s air defense missiles must be restocked only in calm waters and in port, which makes resupply very time consuming and means that shooting down a bunch of cheap drones and rockets is not sustainable.

      1. Greg

        While it lasts, they have a convenient base in Djibouti to restock at. That’s where the USS Carney has been heading in and out of for resupply.

        Djibouti is well within range of Houthi weapons, so if it really kicks off then that won’t last.

    2. nippersdad

      I saw a video last night on Al Jazeera where they interviewed a Houthi that was pretty much in “bring it on” mode. If you can stand his voice it was pretty informative:

      Shorter version: They are going to go after any country they can reach who engages in this flotilla. Bad news for Bahrain, who I believe have joined the coalition, and they are fully aware of its being a bad time for interruption of oil supplies to Europe. As with the Houthi attacks on Saudi oil facilities a few years ago, this may last just as long as it takes for a missile to reach some oil or gas installations.

      Yet another cunning plan that may not have been fully thought out.

      1. Greg

        I don’t see nearly enough media mentioning the stated reasons for Houthi attacks. covers it a bit.

        The TL;DR is that they’ve said they’ll attack any ships going to Israeli ports until aid is allowed into Gaza. So there is a really, really obvious way to stop these attacks without rerouting ships or starting a war, and it’s the same really obvious move that the majority of the world has been demanding for two months now.

        It’s also notable that they seem to have no shortage of missiles and drones, but only a few ships a week are getting attacked, while apparently 50-60 transit the strait daily. Which says they are being selective. Seems like a reason to believe they are doing what they say, and would therefore do what they say if aid reaches Gaza.

    3. Will

      If only there was an overland route for conducting world trade. Or, because of global warming, a path through the arctic for ships? Either way, the US must again wearily take up its mantle of global leadership to persuade relevant nations to put aside regional squabbles and cooperate in establishing those international trade routes for the betterment of all mankind. Grandpa Joe, wake up! The world needs you!

  13. The Rev Kev

    “Greyhound bus stops are valuable assets. Here’s who’s cashing in on them ”

    I wonder how long it will, be before property developers start asking if cities need so many inner city railway stations sitting on prime land.

    1. Benny Profane

      Well, they destroyed Penn Station in NYC and placed Madison Square Garden on top of the subterranean hell that replaced it, and the Dolan family has so much power in their ownership that they have blocked a suitable repair of that awful decision, a decision so bad it prevented a similar fate to Grand Central.

    2. Wukchumni

      I’d mentioned the lack of mobility for homeless now compared to the 30’s, the other day, and basically hitchhiking (which you never see happen all that much in Cali) or planes are their only options of getting around.

      1. digi_owl

        So once flyover country has become disconnected from the coasts save for cargo flights, it is time to ship all those deplorables inland?

    3. vao

      Come to Europe to see it happening. The general approach is currently as follows:

      1) Large, main railway station within a city: the station and the tracks are relocated below ground, often interconnected to the city underground. This of course requires plenty of tunnels and is quite expensive.

      Subsequently, there is considerable space above, formerly occupied by tracks and signalling infrastructure, that is converted into new housing development and shopping facilities — in the middle of the city.

      This is happening for instance in Stuttgart (the infamous Stuttgart 21 plan).

      2) Small town and village stations: the railway station is purely and simply eliminated and replaced by a couple of ticket dispensers. The space formerly occupied by the station and attendant buildings (e.g. storerooms) is reused for a housing development or a shopping centre.

      There is a fair number of such projects in Switzerland, for instance.

    4. mrsyk

      ….inner city railway stations sitting on prime land. Public schools as well. And libraries. Who needs em anyways? and that is sarcasm of course.

  14. mrsyk

    Wall Street private equity vultures are getting hit by high debt costs. I’ve commented on this a couple times since the US departed ZIRP as I’m skeptical that there is any way for PE to unwind their massive real estate portfolios. “How will this play out?”, one might ask. I’m guessing there’s going to be another massive bailout.

    1. Mikel

      They may get away with not having criminally low interest rates if plans to make it easier to dump their bags on more retail investors come to fruition.

      In related news, here’s an update on the barely mentioned Federal Reserve Bank Term Funding Program. Interesting how much of the hoopla and forecasts don’t mention what the expiration of this program in March ’24 and whether it is renewed or not will say about where the economy is headed.

      1. mrsyk

        Dumping toxic derivatives on the retail investor market is a surefire recipe for a bailout.(Adjusts tin foil hat) Maybe this idea is the driver behind such “plans”.

        1. Mikel

          I can tell something is terribly wrong right now. The “look at the stock market go up” distraction is on full blast.

  15. CA

    “Kissinger’s Opening to China Will Haunt American Politics in 2024”

    Frighteningly, and I mean just this, MIT development economists Daron Acemoglu and Simon Johnson have recently begun to write about what they consider a need to undermine and stop Chinese economic development supposedly for the sake of American workers.

    China has not developed economically at the expense of American workers, rather China has wonderfully developed these last 45 years to the benefit of 1.4 billion Chinese and people from Madagascar to Laos to America who have gained from Chinese productivity and well-being gains in purchasing ability. The repeated chorus of wanting to contain China, wanting to stop Chinese technology advances, wanting to undermine benign Chinese development is a only an effort to return to the sense of the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882-1943.

    1. Benny Profane

      Maybe, but, Nippon just bought US Steel, at the same time the world has discovered we can’t make ten percent of the bombs we promise to others fighting our wars.

    2. JBird4049

      >>>China has not developed economically at the expense of American workers, rather China has wonderfully developed these last 45 years to the benefit of 1.4 billion Chinese and people from Madagascar to Laos to America who have gained from Chinese productivity and well-being gains in purchasing ability.

      My apologies, but the bolded part is satire, yes? Just where does everyone think all the factories that were uprooted from the United States and sent overseas went to? Followed by wages being driven down, unions busted, and dying towns across the entire nation?

      1. Roger Boyd

        That wasn’t China, that was the US oligarchs and CEOs who intentionally drove the jobs offshore to Mexico and then to China. China just played them well, the workers were collateral damage.

      2. CA

        Please notice that very fast Chinese development was taking place decades before China became part of the World Trade Organization and long before there was significant American manufacturing investment in China. American domestic manufacturing actually grew rapidly until 2008 but has failed to grow since:

        August 4, 2014

        Real per capita Gross Domestic Product for China, United States, India, Japan and Germany, 1977-2022

        (Percent change)

        August 4, 2014

        Real per capita Gross Domestic Product for China, United States, India, Japan and Germany, 1977-2022

        (Indexed to 1977)

        1. Polar Socialist

          Fadi Lama in his “Why the West Can’t Win” points out that when China (re-)gained independence in 1949, it had 21% of the world’s population but produced only 5% of the global goods. Today it has 19% of the population and but produces about 24% of the global goods.

          He compares that to India, which was “given independence” while it was also tightly bound to the western loan-burden-system (BIS, IMF), so it has remained on the same level of output than it was in 1947.

          Which, I guess, is why West gets stuff from China and cheap labor from India.

      3. LifelongLib

        The story I recall hearing at the time was not that U.S. factories were moving to China, but that Chinese factories were outcompeting U.S. ones (at least in price), which then closed.

    3. pjay

      I was unable to get around the restricted access to this article. But I was able to read the opening paragraphs, which suggest that this article is another hysterical warning about the ruthless, bloodthirsty, “authoritarian” Communists who stabbed us in the back when we naively tried to have friendly and open economic relations with them. We’re just so darned naive in our well-meaning openness! This was the gist of Simon’s article of a week or two ago. Just in the opening paragraphs we are warned that things will get worse if Trump becomes President again – even though Trump and right-wing Republican Trumpers are more anti-China than the Democrats. Without being able to read the rest of the article, I’m going to assume this is because Trump is inherently friendly to his fellow “authoritarian” dictators, whether or not they’re Commies. Am I right?

      I also couldn’t help noticing this passage:

      “For decades, Kissinger was an outspoken advocate for doing business with China, and he made good money by opening doors there. Among other things, this meant lending Deng Xiaoping his support after the massacre of peaceful protesters in Tiananmen Square on June 4, 1989…”

      Trivia question: how many peaceful protesters were massacred in Tiananmen Square on June 4, 1989?

      I do agree with JBird4049 that China’s rapid industrial expansion was certainly tied to our own deindustrialization and decimation of the working class. But I’m confident that the real villains of that story are nowhere to be found in this piece of anti-Chinese propaganda, any more than is the full story of Tiananmen Square and its significance. Am I right?

      1. CA

        “For decades, Kissinger was an outspoken advocate for doing business with China, and he made good money by opening doors there. Among other things, this meant lending Deng Xiaoping his support after the massacre of peaceful protesters in Tiananmen Square on June 4, 1989…”

        Thank you for this quote.

        This is a malicious, prejudiced remark by Daron Acemoglu and Simon Johnson. Essentially they are discrediting the economic development writing they have done. I am shocked at how prejudiced they are showing themselves to be, but distressingly I am seeing the same from a range of American and British economists.

    4. NYMutza

      What these MIT economists are then really saying is that capitalism is a zero-sum game. What is good for China must be bad for America, and so America must crush China in order to win the zero-sum game. That goes against all the propaganda I’ve been subject to for decades, such as capitalism expands the pie so that there are more winners. Apparently, capitalism does no such thing according to these economists.

  16. The Rev Kev

    “More AFU Downers from the Press Mill + Persian Gulf Updates”

    To add to this, Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu has claimed that ‘since the start of the special operation, the Ukrainian armed forces’ casualties have exceeded 383,000 service members, killed and wounded, 14,000 tanks, infantry fighting vehicles and armored personnel carriers, 553 warplanes and 259 helicopters, 8,500 artillery pieces, and multiple launch rocket systems.’

    1. Greg

      And the other side –

      Shoigu also said

      In 2023, about 490 thousand contract soldiers and volunteers were recruited
      – 650,000 military personnel received combat experience
      – The number of foreign volunteers in the Russian Army has increased 7 times. In the Armed Forces of Ukraine, the trend is the opposite – there are 6 times fewer foreigners there

  17. LawnDart

    Re; Majority of Americans 18-24 think Israel should ‘be ended and given to Hamas’

    I’d agree with the first part, Israel should be ended…”

    Ended is its current form, eliminating the aparthied state in favor of equal governance, representation and treatment for all.

    The comments in response to the article are mostly savage, raging indignation lashing-out at Gen Z, but I think that the kids are all right– I mean, what kind of person is in favor of racism, ethnic-cleansing, and genocide? That the kids find these appalling keeps alive the hope that somehow, someday, common decency will find a way.

  18. John Merryman

    While it might not be news. That synchronization is more efficient, what doesn’t get much attention in how this plays into human behavior. Given parts of society are still circling that neolithic tribalism.
    While the essence of the node is synchronization, the essence of the network is harmonization,as all these entities rise and fall across infinity.
    While our technological evolution has progressed, our social evolution is still in the dark ages.
    The feedback between synchronization and harmonization is resonance.

    1. Betty

      I can’t disagree with your statement on end users enough.
      From my years in IT (in the days of rolling out first-time automations of business processes), corporations spend a huge amount of time and $ building DEMOs, that is, shaky apps with fake coding and data, all to trick end users (and top managers) that the application works, all to meet impossible deadlines. Of course, the new app rarely did work in “real” life. IT and the secretaries would joke about top management (the rich people who knew nothing about IT but got their jobs on the basis of family wealth) knew nothing about anything, much less how a database worked, etc. The plotline: spend huge amounts of dough on ways to fool the end users (public, management) into thinking a product was a done product. Now, demos have been dumped and half-as*ed products, called upgrades, are just rolled out to users who have no choice but to push the button because otherwise their computer will be locked or crashed. Big time end-users (IT depts of large corporations) will wait years before implementing any upgrade because it will trash their systems and processing for years. Thanks to top management cuts in all staffing, especially business analysis & quality control. So end users are just a fiction now for corporate theft in broad daylight.

  19. IMOR

    Re: Guardian article on Serbian election results and ‘irregularities’
    –percentages only, no vote totals. I note same is true for the France24 article (published yesterday) the Guardian report seems 80% lifted from. I note same is true for the instant but moderately lengthy Wikipedia article on the election- which cites Freedom House, Western think tanks of the same ilk, and their employed exit pollsters- though it does mention 6.2M Serbs at home and in diaspora eligible to vote.
    –40,000 bussed over from Kosovo. to vote in Belgrade. Should at least be a mention of border checkpoint cams or guards consulted or attempted to be consulted if any actual journalism was intended.
    Working assumption: stenography of U.S./U.S. NGO press release by both ‘newspapers.’
    Maybe actualky put a reporter or two on the ground or don’t publish.

    1. Roger Boyd

      This is standard practice for the Western media, if the preferred Western candidate loses then it must be election fraud. They have been doing this with Venezuela for over two decades, Russia ever since Putin proved not to be a sober Yeltsin, Nicaragua for quite a while, and Bolivia a few years ago to facilitate the failed coup there. If the Western preferred candidate wins then the elections were a level of perfection that the Lord Almighty would be impressed by.

  20. KLG

    The news is simply too much some days, but that Second Bonus? Nudibranchs are da bomb! While working at a marine lab in the Pacific Northwest, the occasional nudibranch we observed passing by would cause all work to stop while we watched it simply exist.

  21. t

    I suppose this gum disease thing will turn out like H Pylori where we can be confident that it’s always involved in certain types of cancers, but still cannot figure out why most people in the one country have it and yet that country doesn’t have a high incidence of those cancers, and in another population H Pylori is someehat rare but usually leads to illness.

    According to my dental hygienist people don’t take care of their gums and especially their back teeth.

    Does make me wonder about the Nun Study of Aging and Alzheimer’s Disease – where reading old essays was enough to (largely) predict which of the sisters would have dementia.

  22. griffen

    Came across this “real estate wowser” of headline, on the ongoing civil trial by New York against Donald Trump and his offspring. One might suggest that expert testimony is supposedly, yes, from an expert. The NYU professor is being kind in his responses, methinks.

    Kangaroo court will now commence. I really do dislike Trump, but the notion of “fraud” here is just doing some heavy lifting. It’s flippin’ real estate, in New York City!

    1. lyman alpha blob

      Judge’s reply seems more than a little ad hominem. Has he in his long professional career never dealt with paid expert witness? And would he have the same reaction towards a paid expert whose testimony led to the conviction this biased judge so clearly wants to see?

  23. Boomheist

    Let’s see. A couple days ago it was reported than 45 ships, container, had chosen to reroute around Africa from the Suez and Red Sea. Yesterday reports stated the number was now over 65, I think, plus at least one tanker company, BP, also rerouting its ships. Other headlines this morning are stating that essentially the Red Sea is closed, with a lot of ships on hold awaiting the start of naval escorts.

    The governing assumption, looking at the many “X” feeds by those in the maritime sector, seems to be a triumphant sense that hooray, finally the great US Navy and its allies are going to weigh in and snuff out the Houthis and thus re-secure the Red Sea approaches and the traffic. Within a few days we will see Operation Guardian stand up and shortly after see the Houthis rendered toothless; ie, these armed destroyers will shoot down all the drones and missiles fired, as one US destroyer claimed the other day with shooting down 14 missiles and drones. Yet we see some other feeds doing some math showing the total number of such protective missiles aboard naval ships is limited to, perhaps, 800 and if the Houthis have thousands of smaller missiles and drones they can then overwhelm this naval task force and render the empire toothless. It is one thing to wave the flag and steam around looking scary. It will be another if a drone swarm overpowers a destroyer and takes it out of action, even sinks it, or if a swarm damages a commercial ship being protected by this naval force.

    One scenario, the triumphant one, holds that this Operation Guardian will show to one and all the US Navy and allies are Not to be Messed With and the Houthi dangers an irritant that can be handled such that Red Sea traffic resumes and this blip in world trade and Suez use will return to normal within a week or two. The other scenario, the pessimistic one, holds that the naval task force is toothless against drone swarms and damaged commercial ships, such that the Suez eventually closes and world trade is chaotically disrupted.

    The latter scenario has another element – let’s for the moment assume Those in the Know know full well the current situation, thousands of Houthi asymmetrical weapons, can overwhelm whatever this task force has over a very short time period. Then the only solution is to somehow reduce that number, by blasting storage depots and also by directly attacking Iran and China, the assumed sources of at least the missiles. This will take time, during which the Suez remains closed. This will become a war between the US and Iran and maybe even China.

    If this asymmetrical swarm warfare against US Naval vessels (and this includes carrier task forces btw) can neutralize naval threats, then unless and until the source of those weapons is neutralized the ability of navies to protect commercial shipping, or protect distant military operations (think Taiwan) is rendered moot.

    We seem to be facing a paradigm shifting threat and moment.

    Either the Empire still has serious Teeth or will be shown to be Toothless.

    As a former sailor aboard container vessels transiting the Suez and Red Sea passage many times and someone who has also worked aboard Military Sealift Command ships – those that will feed the supply chain if necessary – I have little doubt that we can come up with the sailors and ships needed to get supplies to remote locations, though this will require a major effort and serious changes in how we make sure the US industrial base has the capacity to manufacture missiles and weapons and shipyards to grow the fleet. I have far more doubt this country has the political ability and will to take the steps, right now, to make this happen. I fear that if the Houthis manage to show Operation Guardian a toothless enterprise then the gap between awareness of what we need to do and our ability to make it happen will have devastating consequences.

    Many stories this week about US ability to produce weapons to refill Ukrainian coffers, mostly artillery shells, which everyone knows is very limited. Combine that with now the need to supply Israel, also from limited stocks and a seemingly short capacity for backfill manufacture. What about the annual ability to crank out missiles and weapons to replace those 800 missiles aboard the ships in Operation Guardian? Can this even be done? Maybe this can happen right sway, a stroke of the pen to redirect plants in the US to start producing more missiles. Maybe this is already happening. Then, of course, if the US and other nations have the back supply chain ability to keep feeding the military effort, and IF the naval ships, properly supplied, can hit all the drones coming their way, then within a few days the Houthi threat will be seen as a fiction and all will return to normal – ie, Suez traffic reopens and the trade shock neutralized. The pressure to accede to a cease fire in Palestine is relieved.

    In World War 2 the US had an enormous primary manufacturing base, plants galore to produce vehicles, steel, machinery, clothing, etc. You don;t hear much about this now but when WW2 began the US basically set up a government controlled system, with rationing and government control of all industry, requiring auto plants to produce, say, jeeps and tanks, others to make military airplanes, others to make combat boots and uniforms, etc. the US had the industrial base and took steps to control the supply system. Today it seems that base is a shadow of its former self and nowhere does it appear that the US is ready to go to a war footing and force the changes adopted during WW2.

    Hopefully this naval task force manages to render the Houthi attacks moot within a very short time, before the back supply chain limits take effect, providing an Operation Guardian victory. If not, the world sees that those naval vessels cannot defend the Houthi attacks as Operation Guardian runs out of ammunition within a few days or weeks, all while the Red Sea and Suez remain essentially or actually closed.

    1. ChrisRUEcon

      Thanks for your insights. I’m going to pivot to the “election year sentiment analysis” portion of the discourse:

      So, let me get this straight. A missile worth $2.1 million is used to intercept a $2000 drone, and Americans can’t access affordable healthcare.

      (via X/Twitter)

      … so yes, all of what you said with the additional heaping of “money for wars, but none for the poor”.
      If the Houthis prevail – even temporarily – look for #OrangeManBad to egg-the-face of #IceCreamManBad for making MAGAmerica look weak.

  24. Tom Stone

    An appraisal is a “Reasonably supported opinion of value made in accordance with the uniform standards of professional appraisal practice”.
    Depending on the assumptions of the appraiser involved that opinion of value can legitimately vary by 10% or more.
    “You can always stretch an equity, but you can’t stretch a check” as the late Jim Treadwell put it…

  25. Jason Boxman

    ‘I’m Scared to Death.’ Behind the Shortage Keeping Cancer Patients From Chemo

    United States, first world country!

    Stephanie Scanlan learned about the shortages of basic chemotherapy drugs this spring in the most frightening way. Two of the three drugs typically used to treat her rare bone cancer were too scarce. She would have to go forward without them.

    The words “COVID” nor “Pandemic” appear in this story; infecting people with cancer with SARS2 is definitely not a topic worthy of discussion.

  26. noonespecial

    re Economist link – “… the world’s five largest container-shipping companies, CMA CGM, Hapag-Lloyd, Maersk and MSC have paused or suspended their services in the Red Sea”

    Apologies if this is old news, but the USMIC has launched a mission to counter those militants: “Operation Prosperity Guardian”, a naval operation in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden.

    So, whose prosperity is being guarded consumers or PE, Wall Street, et al.?

    US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin quoted in the article, “The recent escalation in reckless Houthi attacks originating from Yemen threatens the free flow of commerce, endangers innocent mariners and violates international law…We’re taking action to build an international coalition to address this threat.”

  27. matsb

    About Amazon in Sweden:

    The translation machine confuses “fjäsk” with “fläsk”. The former means “servility”, the latter “pork”.

    It is with wonder and sorrow I witness how our politicians “fjäskar” for US companies, politicians and military. They evidently don’t read naked capitalism.

  28. digi_owl

    “The S pig for Amazon cost a billion Expressen (Sweden) via machine translation (Micael T). Sweden hoist on its own petard.”

    Norway is going through much the same, sadly. Tried to sell itself as a natural location for server farms with access to hydro power and easy cooling, while at the same time building a massive power cable to Germany right before the SMO kicked off.

    All it has done i attract a bunch of crypto farms while at the same time the public is seeing some of the highest electricity bills in generations. Not helped by much of the housing built in recent decades only have electric heating.

    And on top of that there is constant talk about electrifying the oil platforms, but in order to do so a whole bunch of new high power lines need to be constructed and the locals are not happy. Neither are they happy about all the wind farms that are being planned and constructed.

    1. ChrisRUEcon

      Was just about to post this. And I concur. This is not a good look. I don’t think it’ll stick, because it’ll go to the Supreme Court and get reversed. Next year is going to be wild.

      1. skippy

        Gawd … always bemused about this all …

        Trump is and always has been a cheap huckster and apples don’t fall far from the tree, waves at Hunter on the establishment[tm] side, his only sin is using PR/Marketing for self serving personal reasons outside the established norm/narrative [must be defended at all costs].

        Just see his rhetoric of late. The idea he has any care for the common people is just nuts, pandering to the unwashed like old Rome and then have epic parties whilst it all burns.

        On that note, will not link, Rosanne Barr’s brain just sploded* at some Trump like event … commies, Stalinist’s, and all the other trigger terms …. total precious bodily fluids moments … hilarious …

      2. Lambert Strether

        > I don’t think it’ll stick

        Neither do I, but if it does, Trump will be off the ballot in the Blue States, and on in the Red States. I’m trying to remember if anything like that ever happened before….

Comments are closed.